Frequently Asked Questions - SEO

Frequently Asked Questions

1 . What is SEO and how does it work?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and is about optimizing ones’ website to get it ranking on the first page of Google as well as other search engines.

SEO assists your website in gaining more visibility on Google and other search engines. This aids in getting more exposure to your website. Also builds in credibility and authority on search engines. SEO is like the engine to your website.

SEO is not an exact science as Google changes its ranking algorithm a few times a month and does not notify anyone on what the actual changes are – we have to figure them out. The major changes are however released publicly but Google still does not notify us on how to optimize.

2 . What is the SEO process?

We will first conduct a SEO audit on your website where we unpack the issues from a search engine’s perspective – this is done when sending you the SEO proposal.

We then conduct SEO analysis on Google as well as other search engines, and this includes keyword analysis, competitor analysis and trends. This process takes roughly about 40 – 80 hours (depending on the size of your website and the competitiveness of your industry).

Once the analysis is complete, we use the insights gathered to create the SEO strategy, which then gets implemented onto your website via onsite optimisation. We generally do not send a report for the SMME packages, but should you require one this can be arranged at an additional cost.

3 . How long will it take till I see results?

It depends 100% on google and how often Google and other search engines index or crawl your website.

Rankings on search engines could happen within a few days from implementation, up to a couple of months to actually see results.

There are many factors that influence rankings such as:

  • New website and domain name age VERSUS a website and domain that has been around for a few years
  • The amount of traffic you currently get to your website
  • The content (actual text) you have on your website VERSUS a website with less content and lots of images.
  • The type of content you have on your website ie: is the content relevant to the keywords you want to target.
  • eCommerce website with lots of products and less content.
  • Website which is a duplicate of another website especially if content is duplicated
  • A website that was hacked or spammed over the last year
  • A website that has been offline for a few weeks or months
  • A website that is not mobile friendly.
  • A website that has black hat SEO techniques currently implemented, most common is keyword stuffing.
4 . What is done monthly?

Once we have completed the SEO analysis and implemented our strategy we then aim to get google to index and crawl each page 100%. This is mainly done by ‘nudging’ various data centers to get Google and other search engines to ‘come to the party’ which is done monthly. This is part of the crawling or indexing process. When Google crawls a page, it does not fully recognize all the elements on that page, hence we ‘nudge’ Google to recognize all the SEO elements on a page. This generally takes about 8 hours (sometimes up to 15 hours) to get Google to recognize a website with an average of 10 pages.

Depending on the indexing and crawling progress – we may at times conduct link building or offsite optimisation on certain pages, targeting certain keywords, should we find that your competitors are ranking well due to many credible links. If so, then onsite optimisation may not be adequate to rank hence we also do offsite optimisation in this case.

Onsite optimization is not done every month, especially if a page is already ranking. If ranking already, we aim to get the keyword ranking in higher positions via ‘nudging’ and sometimes use offsite optimization.

The only time we will re-optimise a page, is if Google and other search engines has crawled the page and the keywords are not ranking.

5 . What do you need to start?

We will require a signed agreement, your website logins (with admin access) and your cpanel details. You can get the cpanel details from your hosting company.

6 . Do I get any reports?

Yes, you will get a SEO report for month 2 and every month thereafter. During the first month, we conduct SEO analysis, audit and implement the strategy hence no report on the results will be available in month 1. If on the SMME package, you can request the SEO Audit report at an additional cost.

7 . Will you send me a status report on what was done monthly?

We do communicate monthly via the SEO report and this report shows you the visibility of your website on the various search engines, together with the keywords targeted and the actual positions of each keyword on the various search engine.

You can physically type these keywords into Google and other search engines to see the rankings stipulated on the reports. Positions 1 to 10 are keywords that are ranking on page 1.

NBIf checking the report after a few days, rankings may fluctuate a bit.

For the SMME packages we don’t keep a track record or status report of all the changes, edits, optimisation done as the objective for these packages are to rank on the first page and focus is not generally what we are doing, but rather ‘what keywords are we ranking for?’. We can however offer status reports at an additional cost for the SMME packages.

8 . How do you choose keywords?

During our keywords analysis process, we extract keywords from Google and other Google affiliates. These are keywords that are currently being searched for on Google, month-on-month. We analyse trends over 3 to 6 months and filter these keywords – highest to lowest based on search volumes ie: how many times was a keyword searched for on Google.

We then choose the top 20 – 80 keywords (depending on package chosen). Keywords are chosen based on the statistical data collected from Google, and this eliminates thumb-sucking of keywords, or assumptions on which keywords will work.

9 . Can I also give you additional keywords to add?

Yes sure, please send us a few keywords to add. We select keywords from an online perspective ie: what people search for on google that pertains to your product or service offerings, but we may not know the terminology or jargon used offline.

10 . How many keywords do you target?

We target between 20 and 80 keywords for SMME’s depending on the package. This also depends on the competitiveness of the industry, for example if your business was selling short term insurance; then the number of keywords we would need to target will be over a 100 as this industry is very competitive and there are many more keywords searched for on google. We will advise though once we have conducted the keywords analysis.

11 . Do you only target Google?

No, if targeting South Africa then we target Google.co.za, Google.com, yahoo and Bing as an example.

If you have a product targeting another country, then we will target the popular search engines in that specific country.

12 . How often do you make changes to my website?

Once we have implemented the SEO strategy we very rarely make changes to the website as most of the optimisation is then done on google and offsite optimisation. Check no. 4 above to see what is done monthly.

13 . How long will it take to get me to position number 1 on google?

Position number 1 is never a guarantee. In fact, ranking on Google is never a guarantee as we are all dependent 100% on Google, and Google does not share their secrets on how to optimize to get ranking. However, based on our 15 years of experience working with many clients across a multitude of industries – we can guarantee to rank your website but nobody can guarantee achieving position number 1 as there are many factors to consider. Upon our analysis of your industry we will notify you if position 1 is achievable.

Ranking on page 1 is still great, as we have proven that users do scroll on the page to browse, and if something grabs their attention then they will click on it – even if your website is ranking in position 10 at the bottom of the page.

14 . Will I see an increase in leads, sales, and traffic?

Yes you should, this does however boils down to the user behavior though.

On Google there are 2 solutions – SEO and Google Adwords. Google Adwords is Google’s flagship in driving leads and was created for this specific purpose. SEO is about creating the visibility of your brand on Google and the more exposure you get the better.

Some users may click on adwords and others may ignore the ads and click on the organic listings via SEO à this is their preference based on their behavior. If you are ranked on the first page, your listing is 1 out of 18 on that page, so the user can click any one of the 18 listings.

Generally, most people in the past used to click Adwords as this was the first ad they saw, but nowadays people are becoming more techno savvy and realize that they will get credible results and will find exactly what they are looking for from the organic listings (SEO) as opposed to adwords.

We generally ask our clients to have a presence using SEO and Adwords as you would not want to miss out on those that still prefer clicking on the ads.

15 . How often do you make changes to my website?

Once we have implemented the SEO strategy we very rarely make changes to the website as most of the optimisation is then done on google and offsite optimisation. Check no. 4 above to see what is done monthly.

16 . What changes do you make on my website?

We would generally change the SEO elements within the backend of your website as well as optimize the actual file structure and naming convention of each page.

If we find that your content is not relevant to the keyword we are targeting, then only will make adjustments to the content in efforts to boost the keyword density.

We don’t generally make changes to the layout of the website unless you ask us to assist with website maintenance which will be at an additional cost.

17 . Will you change my banners, website layout, or images on my website?

No we don’t unless you ask us to assist. This will be at an additional cost though as it is not part of SEO.

18 . Can I continue to make changes while you work on my SEO?

I think please run the changes past us first before making them as if they are sensitive changes then it may affect our SEO strategy.

19 . How many hours a month do you spend on my SEO?

Generally, we work on about 8 hours a month, but sometimes if rankings are going to drop due to an update from Google then we may spend more hours in that month.

20 . How often do you need to log into my website?

Very rarely, if your website is in a niche industry and our SEO is great – meaning your website is ranking for most of the keywords then we probably only login every few months.

We work on the SEO from an offsite perspective. Please check no 4 above to see what is done monthly.

21 . Do you write articles for my website? If so, how many do you write?

Nope, articles writing is not part of the SEO process. Articles are sometimes required to assist certain keywords to rank, if this is the case then we would require content from you or we can write a few articles to assist. This is not always a requirement though and we will advise once we start with the SEO.

22 . How many months is the SEO service for?

SEO is generally for 12 months as it requires a lot of analysis and time, and rankings sometimes don’t happen in the first month, so extra work is required. Also, we invest a lot of time in the beginning and only recover our costs and make a profit after a few months.

23 . Can you do a once off SEO?

Not really, Google changes their algorithm a few times a month and paying for once off will not yield the desired results.

24 . How many leads will I get if I rank on page 1?

It depends on the industry and the search volumes of the specific keywords. Also, it is difficult to establish the numbers as your listings is 1 out of 18 on the first page which includes adwords.

You will receive leads though if quite a few keywords are ranking on page 1, we can’t confirm how many though as there are many factor to consider as well as seasonal trends.

25 . How will SEO help my business?

SEO will help your business get:

  • More exposure for your products and services.
  • drive leads and sales
  • increase your visibility and brand awareness
  • increase your brandy equity
  • position your brand as being credible
26 . VAT will increase from 14% to 15% as announced during the Budget Speech on 21 February 2018.
  • With VAT increasing to 15%, your payment will also increase to accommodate the 15% VAT increase.
  • This change will be applied to payments from 1 April 2018 as required by legislation.
  • All payments taken from 1 April will be affected.